In “The Platform Classic,” Tam encourages Kaz and Neeku to get to work so that Yeager will allow the three to watch the eponymous race. Yeager comes in announcing that Doza wants to meet with him. They all go, and Doza asks Yeager to compete in the race; at first, he declines, but Doza brings out famous racer Marcus Speedstar. Jarek declines again, saying that Speedstar is his brother, but he wants nothing to do with him. The crew leaves, Yeager angered by the offer. Marcus comes to the Colossus and tries to reconnect with Yeager, saying he came to talk, not to race. Yeager accuses him of being in the game for fame and refuses to talk to him or race him. Tam and Kaz state that Marcus is one of the best pilots in the galaxy, and Yeager finally decides to challenge him. Meanwhile, at Aunt Z’s, Marcus is confronted by people whose ship he destroyed; he says he’ll pay them his prize for winning, but rather than trust his word they take his friend Oplok as collateral. Just as they leave, Yeager shows up and says he will race. This worries Marcus, and the other patrons begin making bets. Marcus tells Yeager that he lost his mechanic, and Yeager loans Kaz to him to help with the ship. As they work, Marcus tells Kaz about their past: after the Rebellion army downsized, they were forced to race for a living. Marcus admits he did it for fame and riches too. They also discuss Yeager’s family Kaz saw in the photo.
Back at the Colossus, Neeku encourages Yeager to forgive his brother, confused by the enmity between them. Siblings of his species would do anything for each other, even up to donating organs. However, Yeager just tells him that Marcus wasn’t there for him like brothers are supposed to be. Kazuta comes back to the Colossus to tell Yeager that he should forgive his brother and that he needs the prize money to save his mechanic. Yeager simply replies that it’s not his problem. As the race is beginning, Marcus tells Yeager that he has to win this race. Yeager again brushes him off. Marcus leads the pack, but Yeager stays on him. Yeager finally gets talkative, saying that he lost everything because of Marcus and that he’ll never forgive him. Yeager and Marcus get into it again, with Yeager stating that Marcus killed his family by causing a crash. Marcus tells him that he couldn’t say it at the time because he was ashamed, but that he loved them too and misses them every day. Yeager takes a dive at the last minute to let his brother win the race. The two embrace and Yeager says they’re still not good, but that they will be someday. Marcus leaves on much better terms than he arrived, with his friend Oplok in tow.
As much as I detest this show, I have to say that “The Platform Classic” is the best episode yet, regardless of how little that means. Yeager has been my favorite character in the series for a while, both because of his enigmatic nature and because he seems wise and worldly, especially in contrast to Kaz. I love that in “The Platform Classic” we finally get his backstory, as well as meeting his last remaining family member. I do think that the reveal of how his family died is a tad forced; for some reason, I was expecting something bigger or related to the war. Maybe if we even got to see a flashback instead of just expository dialogue from Yeager and Marcus, it would be more believable. Nonetheless, this is the most interesting story they’ve had in Resistance yet. It’s just a shame it was resolved so quickly, and that Marcus is likely out of the story now for a long time, if not permanently.
That being said, I don’t like what they do with the other major characters in “The Platform Classic.” Tam is still a bossy, harsh slavemaster, Neeku still takes everything literally, and Kaz is still a bumbling fool who drools over stars like Marcus. However, they’re relegated to the role of therapists this week; Kaz inquires about Marcus’ history with Yeager from Marcus as Neeku and Tam do the same with Yeager. They all encourage Yeager to forgive and accept his brother without knowing the whole story or Marcus well at all. This is another sequence that I think would flow more naturally if they showed us the story with flashbacks instead of the brothers simply reciting what happened to the three young mechanics. It’s strange for the three to feel so strongly and get so involved in the feud between the brothers. And what if Yeager was right about Marcus like he was about Synara? What if he really did just want to win for fame and money? Then his employees convincing him to forgive his brother and repair their relationship could be disastrous and misguided. It’s not so much that they’re out of character this week as they maintain their irritating quirks prior to Marcus arriving, but more like they become mediators obsessed with reuniting the two brothers.
Of course, the animation in “The Platform Classic” is still ugly; however, the shot composition is pretty good. Although the textures and colors are garish, it does look kind of cool when the racers are in the air. And the drama is palpable whenever Yeager and Marcus come face-to-face. The music is pretty good this week, but not quite as strong as it was in “Synara’s Score.” The voice acting isn’t amazing this week, but it is fairly strong from Scott Lawrence (Yeager) and Keston John (Marcus) in particular. Christopher Sean consistently gives Kaz a squeaky, childish-sounding voice, but I can’t really fault him for that when it suits the character. Josh Brener doesn’t give Neeku any personality to speak of, and even when he thought Kaz was joking about making Yeager happy it seemed generic and soulless. The only distinctive thing about Suzie McGrath as Tam is her (out-of-place) British accent.
Overall, I can’t say that “The Platform Classic” is great, or even very good, but it is my favorite episode yet and highlights my favorite character. If every episode at least showed an attempt to tell engaging stories and develop the characters, it would be a lot harder to hate this show. But these aspects make “The Platform Classic” the exception to this show’s rule. I can’t say I’d recommend this episode or the show, but it was a relief to watch one that at least had redeeming characteristics.